Okay, I've got a triple-shot of Daria commentary for your viewing
I'm really not too sure of what to make of "Through a Lens Darkly".
I can understand Daria at least trying contacts, as her mother does
have a point about her driving. Plenty of people get by driving in
glasses, of course, so it can't be that big a problem, but it is a
sensible argument. The amount of concern she has about what other
people would think about the change would be pretty out of character
if it wasn't for the focus of that concern: she was more concerned
about appearing to sell out than attempting to fit in.
I'm not too pleased with the way parts of it were handled, such as
Daria going to Quinn for advice. At first glance, it would appear
to be a natural move, considering Quinn's obsession. But then again,
considering Quinn's obsession, Daria should have realized it would
turn out exactly as it did. We haven't seen anything to really indicate
that Quinn would be able to comprehend Daria's underlying moral issue,
but going into "makeover" mode is pretty standard for her.
Amy's appearance was handled okay. We should be seeing more of her
if Daria really is her favorite niece, but she'd be easy to overuse,
so we probably won't see much of her.
I have two big problems with this episode, however. The dream sequences
are being overused. There's been too many of them too recently. Cut
it out. They haven't worked well yet, and it doesn't look like they
ever will, so don't waste time on them.
The other problem is, to me, the major one for the episode. Daria
tries out contacts, okay. Decides it isn't shallow to do so, okay.
Decides to stick with glasses, good. But why in the world would she
go to school without either her contacts or glasses?
Oh, just for the record, Daria must be nearsighted. There's no other
way her vision could be that bad and she could still read enough of
her books and so on to get through the day.
One last problem (I know, I know), and that's Brittany's little
speech. I can see the "we're all human" line helping, but Brittany's
comment about Daria' insecurity making her feel not so shallow...
Next, "The Old and the Beautiful." I really expected Daria to fight
this more than she did (that is, not at all). Mandatory volunteerism
seems like it'd be the kind of thing that would get her back up. She's
had to be blackmailed into this sort of thing before, after all ("Cafe
Disaffecto" "Arts 'N Crass"). And considering Helen's reaction to
Ms. Li in "Arts 'N Crass" I would have expected her to not like this
either, assuming she didn't get the idea that the girls were doing
this on their own initiative (I think she knows Daria too well for
I also don't understand the general attraction of Brittany's voice.
Maybe it's just me, but it seemed exceptionally irritating this episode.
I really did enjoy a couple things, however. Jane's art project
was handled great. It was very much in character, and the lines and
enthusiasm on her part were just fun to watch. It was also very nice
to finally get some attention paid to Daria's writing again.
Ms. Li and the Fashion Club were, well, themselves. Quinn's showing
that she's a little deeper than the others, but then again, that's
like saying she's a little wetter than the Sahara. Unfortunately this
is also the second episode in a row where Daria attempts to use Quinn
for advice on appearance.
Last, and certainly least, "Depth Takes a Holiday."
I must echo Ms. Li in saying "What the hell is going on here?"
This series is supposed to be a reality-based comedy/drama. This episode
has absolutely no place in such a series, period, full stop. As much
as I hated "The New Kid" it still fit within the general scope of
the show. This one would have been much more fitting for a bad Simpson's
Halloween special. If they had used the eminently lame device of doing
a "and then she woke up and realized it was all a dream" ending it
would have actually _improved_ the episode! I've never said anything
like that before, and I never thought it could be true, but it is!
(The comparison with "The New Kid" is fitting, as these two episodes
were both written by the same pair. Let's hope it's their last.)
Even judging this episode outside the context of the series it's theoretically
a part of, it wouldn't be anything special. It's not funny, and the
plot is fairly pitiful even discounting the inherently outrageous
starting assumptions. The more context from the series you use, the
worse it gets. There's yet more shipper fanservice, which makes three
of four episodes so far this season to toss that in. Which reminds
me; why in the bloody blue blazes would Daria take those jerks out
for pizza? To look cool to them?
The first time I saw this episode I was just checking in to the series
to see how third season was going. I literally did not watch a single
other episode until some heavy-duty persuasion got me to tune into
the end of season four. This episode quite simply killed this series
for me. I'm very surprised they were able to recover from this big
If I had to sum up the episode in one word, that would quite obviously